Author Archives: Stewart Reddaway

A progressive carbon tax policy to reduce both CO2 and poverty

Not taxing carbon is a bit like trying to reduce smoking without taxing cigarettes.

Raising the cost of carbon with a comprehensive carbon tax on all fossil fuels, collected at the point of production or import, uses market forces to reduce CO2 emissions in a very cost-effective and efficient way. Both energy efficiency and the use of low-CO2 energy are encouraged.

It applies to all sectors, including heating, industry, electricity generation and transport.

Fossil fuel subsidies, for example, tax breaks on the North Sea oil and gas, are a negative carbon tax and should be withdrawn.

If the money raised is paid back as a dividend to all UK residents on an equal-per-head monthly basis, then people with a below-average total carbon footprint (i.e. those for whom the dividend payments exceed the effect of price rises due to the tax) are subsidised by those with above-average footprints. Children can be rated at half the adult rate, which can be added to Child Benefit. The dividend, a form of UBI (Universal Basic Income), makes the policy progressive. Poor people’s limited total spending power means their total carbon footprint is almost always below average, even including increased home heating costs, making them winners; as will nearly all people in fuel poverty. Overall, poverty is reduced.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Stop the carbon offsetting Greenwash

The current virus has temporarily reduced carbon emissions, but climate change is still important.

Carbon offsetting is used to enable an organisation or person engaged in an activity that emits CO2 (or other Greenhouse Gas (GHG)), such as flying, to pay to support project(s) that reduce emissions so they can claim a neutral net effect on climate change. There is a wide range of such projects on offer commercially, an example being planting trees. The cost in £/ton of CO2 varies very widely, and the control and auditing of the validity of their claims is weak. Naturally, both organisations and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 4 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • John Medway
    @Gordon I don't think there's anything in your latest post I could disagree with without getting into some serious nit-picking. My main student days were in the...
  • Roland
    Whilst I get peoples general concerns, perhaps an alternative viewpoint might add further to the discussion. What has become clear, the various schemes to en...
  • Brad Barrows
    Interesting article and comments. Taxpayers often do not think it fair that they should be required to pay higher taxes so that some people can chose to decline...
  • Gordon
    @John Medway – My introduction to investment was in a ‘real economy’ company (not financial services/markets) where it was, in principle, straightforward ...
  • John Barrett
    Well said, John...